The 2007 Birmingham International Comics Show (October 12th/13th/14th) was, as expected, a pleasure to attend. I'm sure others will be running a more detailed review of the events on their web pages so I'll just use this blog to feature a brief photo-gallery of some of the many attendees. (I heard there were over 2,000 people there on the Saturday!)
Captions are beneath each picture spread. Click on highlighted names to visit their websites:
1: Hunt Emerson (artist of Rats in The Beano) and his band The Black Country Cats perform a live gig at Bennetts during the Friday night launch party. One of the best launch parties I've been to, in 28 years of attending conventions.
2: Albion scriptwriters Leah Moore and John Reppion enjoy a drink after a busy year writing Raise the Dead and Witchblade: Shades of Grey amongst other comics.
3: Beano artists Laura Howell and Paul Palmer meet up at the event.
4: Tim Perkins of Wizards Keep and Jon Haward, artist of Classical Comics' Macbeth.
5: Contributors of nineties hit comic Sonic the Comic reunited for the first time in years! L-R, Lew Stringer, Nigel Kitching, Richard Elson and Nigel Dobbyn.
6: Event Press Officer The Mighty Paul H. Birch, God of Thunder.
7: After the party, Comics International editor Mike Conroy and daughter Cassandra show John McShane (a legend in his own liquid lunch time) the way to go home.
8: Millennium Point, the venue for the Comics Show.
9: Fans rummage through the comic boxes for titles of interest. A wide variety of items were on offer, from back issues to the newest independent comics. (A selection of which will be reviewed here soon.)
10: Mike Collins, artist on Doctor Who Magazine was busy sketching all weekend for Draw the World Together.
11: Sean Phillips, artist on Marvel Zombies and Criminal, beside Charlie Adlard, artist of The Walking Dead sketch for fans.
12: Manga style artist Sonia Leong and Emma Vieceli (artist of the Manga Shakespeare version of Hamlet).
13: Phil Clarke with some of the numerous pages of original Fleetway/IPC artwork he has for sale! Interested in owning a piece of British comics history? Then contact Phil at email@example.com
14: Judge Dredd Megazine contributor the enthusiastic David Ballie displays his growing output of self-published comics.
15: Fiona Stephenson with three of her original paintings, accurate classic reproductions of "pin up" artist Gil Elvgren's famous works. The paintings (and those of her partner Dean Ormston) can be obtained from eBay from the dealer redrobot99.
16: Lifelong comics fan Carl Brooks (who attended the very first UK comics con back in 1968) in the foreground as he and other fans shop around the dealer's room.
17: John A. Short, writer of Rex in Toxic, meets Ganjaman creator Jim Stewart.
Thanks to comic show organizers Shane Chebsey, James Hodgkins and Andy Baker (with Paul H. Birch doing the P.R.) for putting together such a fantastic weekend. Freelancing for comics can be a lonely occupation because of its relative uniqueness, and for decades comic creators (often uncredited in print back then) never (or rarely) encountered other people in the same line of work. If it wasn't for people like Shane, James, Andy (and all of their predecessors) investing their time, effort, and money into events such as this, most of us would have remained disconnected.
Events such as the Birmingham Comics Show provide a valued and important service for comic creators to establish contacts and, (even more valued), friendships within the industry. May such events continue for many more years! Next one; the Bristol International Comic Expo on 9th - 11th May 2008. See you there!
UPDATE 1: More pix from the event over at the Forbidden Planet International blog:
UPDATE 2: The Birmingham Mail has uploaded a short video report on the event, featuring Mark Farmer, Paul H. Birch, Tony Lee and others:
UPDATE 3: Kev F. Sutherland and his Scottish Falsetto Sock Theatre have just uploaded a video on YouTube that was shot at the Comics Show. See how many comics creators and fans you recognize: